We had six weeks of amazing weather from early January to mid February 2011. This unusually warm weather caused the cactus to leaf out much more than usual for this time of year. As a result we were able to ship really fine cactus in the middle of winter.
But early and false springs can confound when the weather turns back to normal…. and on Feb 18 and 19 we got hit with hail.. which while not unknown here, when it does hit us, we usually don’t really have any tender actively-growing leaves to be damaged. But after the happy occurrence of the warm spring weather, the beautiful and luscious happy cactus leaves grew out, but they were sitting ducks for hail in February.
Only one side of the leaves got hit, and most of the leaves were spared damage due to being behind other leaves…
We’ll be able to sell many of these leaves as Grade C. The small dents in the leaves are cosmetic, and require no cutting away. We’ll make sure to spread the hurt among all boxes.. so no one gets hit with the lions’ share of pitted leaves. Some of them will go as Grade ‘D’…. those folks will probably be pretty happy to get some of these leaves in such fine condition for Grade D.
The red dots on some of the older leaves are due to drops of water freezing on the leaves and causing a ‘scab’.
At any rate… I think this is all part of the fun in agriculture.. the unknowing, the learning… the loss of control… you can’t hold back a storm, you have to grow things that will survive your local conditions. And it helps to have customers like ours who understand the seasonal variation in the quality of the leaves.. and are willing to live with what the plants can naturally produce without hurting them or the local surroundings.
Happy plants equals better nutrition